Woman charged with cruelty to animals after abandoned, malnourished dog found

(Source: Brunswick County Sheriff's Office)
(Source: Brunswick County Sheriff's Office)
Tara Johnson (Source: Brunswick Co. Sheriff's Office)
Tara Johnson (Source: Brunswick Co. Sheriff's Office)

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) – A Leland woman has been charged with one count of cruelty to animals after Brunswick County Sheriff's Animal Protective Services and the Town of Leland Animal Control obtained a neglected, abandoned dog.

Tara Johnson, 35, was arrested and charged Tuesday, along with one count of abandonment of an animal.

According to a spokesperson for the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office, a real estate agent found the dog, an Australian/Shepherd mix, while changing locks at a foreclosed home.

[Click here to see photos of the dog after it was found. WARNING: You may find some of the images disturbing.]

The dog was found in a wire crate, severely dehydrated and malnourished and unable to move his back legs.

After an investigation conducted by Animal Protective Services Officer Cpl. Teri Ferguson, Johnson was arrested and charged.

She remains in jail under a $1,000 bond.

The dog, called Springer by staff and specialists, is recovering and gaining weight. Lt. Tommy Tolley described him as full of life with a long recovery road ahead.

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